|Date of Birth||February 22, 1887|
|Place of Birth||Kenora, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Wilhelmina Creelman (aunt), Spokane, Washington, U.S.A.|
|Trade / Calling||Lumber mill foreman|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Foresty Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A.|
|Address at Enlistment||Cosmopolis, Washington, U.S.A.|
|Date of Enlistment||October 17, 1917|
|Age at Enlistment||30|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||October 25, 1955|
|Age at Death||68|
|Buried At||Nanaimo Municipal Cemetery, Nanaimo, British Columbia|
Lance Corporal Arthur Bohn Thompson was the son of Benjamin Franklin ‘Frank’ Thompson and Augusta Bohn. He was born on 22 February 1887 in the town of Rat Portage in northwestern Ontario. He had an older sister Sarah (Sadie) and two younger brothers, John (1888) and William Stanley (1890). All three boys were born in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), where their father worked in the local lumber industry.
When the 1891 census was taken Augusta was listed as widowed and living in Fort Frances with the four children. She was working as a cook and lodging with a hotel keeper, Edward Scott and his wife. The census recorded Augusta as 30 years old, born in Ontario and of German ancestry. The children’s father was born in the U.S. By 1901 Augusta had returned to Rat Portage where she was living with her older sister, Wilhelmina Bohn. Only Arthur and William were still at home. Sadly, Augusta died on 3 March 1904, at age 42, and she’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery. Wilhelmina had moved to the state of Washington around 1902. She married Samuel Henry Creelman and they settled in the Spokane area. Arthur and John moved west to British Columbia then Arthur went on to Washington around 1911. John may have spent some time in the U.S. too. William had stayed in Kenora but he joined his family in Washington in 1912.
Arthur signed up at a Canadian recruiting centre in Tacoma, Washington on 17 October 1917. A week later he attested and had his medical in Victoria, British Columbia. His occupation was lumber mill foreman, his address was Cosmopolis, Washington and next of kin was his aunt Wilhelmina in Spokane. Arthur joined the Canadian Forestry Corps and he was assigned to the Depot Battalion. In late January 1918 he was sent to Brockville, Ontario to continue his training. Medical exams in February and March mentioned that he had a heart condition as well as a defective right hand, due to an old injury with a circular saw. In April he was ill with bronchitis and he spent a few days in the military hospital in Brockville. Later that same month he was admitted to Queen’s Military Hospital in Kingston for his heart condition. A medical board found him unfit for further service and he was discharged on 23 May in Kingston.
Arthur’s brother John Thompson was conscripted in June 1918 and he served in Canada briefly. Their younger brother William Stanley Thompson enlisted at a British recruiting centre in New York in December 1917. He served with the Inland Water Transport Division of the Royal Engineers in England, Salonica and Russia and returned to the U.S. in October 1919.
Arthur may have gone back to Washington after the war but by the 1920s he had settled in British Columbia where he continued his career in the forestry industry. He was married in Vancouver on 4 September 1926. His wife, Ellen Drummond Smith, was a stenographer who was born in Nanaimo, British Columbia around 1905. Her parents, Frederick Peter Smith and Nettie Donaldson, were married in Nanaimo in 1904. By the 1930s Arthur and his wife were living in the Port Alberni area on Vancouver Island and he was a mill superintendent. He retired in 1953 and passed away in the West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni on 26 October 1955, at age 68. His cremains are buried in the Nanaimo Municipal Cemetery in Nanaimo, British Columbia.
By Becky Johnson